Michael Eisner’s announcement that he intends to remain CEO for the next two years forces you to make a critical decision. Will you choose to let the Company drift for two more years – allowing the pall Mr. Eisner has cast to continue to drive the most talented and creative people away from Disney, erode the morale of current employees, and prevent the Company from attracting the strong, dynamic, and creative leader it needs? Or will you reject Mr. Eisner’s brazen attempt to usurp your responsibilities as directors by stage-managing the appointment of his anointed successor and instead tangibly show your commitment to best corporate practices by immediately initiating an expeditious and broad search for a world-class CEO?
Roy Disney and the folks at SaveDisney.com have launched their latest attack at the management of the Walt Disney Company. An open letter to the Disney Board Members has been posted and another publicity blitz launched.
Of course, this letter is likely to fall on deaf ears as the board has been mostly hand picked by Eisner and those who opposed him were ousted or left (see Roy Disney and Stanley Gold). Unfortunately there is very little force behind SaveDisney’s demands other than their threat of offering an alternate slate for election to the board at the next board meeting.
Should the Board not take the actions proposed above – immediately engaging an independent executive recruiting firm to conduct a worldwide search for a talented CEO and concurrently announcing that Michael Eisner will leave the Company at the conclusion of that search – we intend to take our case directly to our fellow stockholders and propose an alternate slate of directors committed to moving the Company forward aggressively.
They got 45% of the shareholders to vote no confidence, but it is another matter entirely to switch out an entire board. I suspect we shall see how this all goest down at the next shareholder meeting.
(Kevin Yee has posted an interesting disection of the two recent volleys that were fired between Eisner and SaveDisney.com. LaughingPlace.com has a good roundup on the latest new stories posted on the matter.)